I'll take new haven. tales of discovery and rejuvenation by Lary Bloom

picture of Lee Jacobus
Photo by Joanna Jacobus.  

Wildcat on the Shoreline, the most recent book by Lee A. Jacobus, is a remarkable collection of poems covering a variety of topics with elegance, intelligence, energy, and a keen eye for telling detail. Margaret Gibson has praised it enthusiastically: “These quietly eloquent poems, written late in life, have a mellowed tenderness and wisdom earned throughout years of self-reflection and a keen observation of the world.  Lee Jacobus has given us a book in which pride of place is given to vital feeling, to touch, and to a pervasive sense of love. Although the range of this collection is broad—from childhood memory to present day social issues —there is, throughout, a sense of death’s approach. These poems are rooted in a profound gratitude for life—and I am grateful for them. Their clarity. Their grace.”
  Wildcat on the Shoreline cover image
  Photograph by Jean Beaufort.

Lee A. Jacobus, Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, taught poetry, Milton, Shakespeare, and modern Anglo-Irish literature. His poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, The Literary Review, Michigan Quarterly, Other Voices (Chicago), and elsewhere.  Among his books are Crown Island, Volcanic Jesus, A World of Ideas, The Humanities Through the Arts, The Bedford Introduction to Drama, Shakespeare: The Dialectic of Certainty, and others. He lives on the Connecticut Shoreline with Joanna Jacobus, who taught dance and choreography at the University of Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut University.

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ISBN 979-8-9855621-3-2
First edition, 2022
98 pages

Copies of this book can be ordered
from all bookstores including Amazon
 or directly from the author:
 Lee A. Jacobus
1 Laconia Dr.
Clinton, CT 06413-1238.
Send $18 per book
plus $4 shipping
by check payable
 to Lee A. Jacobus.

The author can be contacted at


Copyright © 2022 by Lee A. Jacobus





It surprised me when my Catholic cousin
said that she had worked out the problem
of life after death by determining that it
would be a satisfying solution to be reborn
in another form of life. She did not mention
genera, or even species. I had the feeling that
she was happy with the thought that whatever
was her future fate, it would have eyes, and
possibly ears with which to enjoy the world
that she had temporarily left behind. She did
not mention fangs or poison glands or razor
teeth, although all of those gifts were on my
mind when I thought it over. For me, being
an orchid would suffice. Or maybe a rose.


Full Moon in Winter


At two in the morning the moon
pauses overhead. I stand by the
window after climbing out of bed.

What always shocks me is the
illusion of snow on the grass below,
the expanse of lawn in a pewter glow.

This is winter and the night should be
dark and thoughtful, filled with dreams,
but the moon’s dominance fills me

with admiration. It is a kind of victory
over sleep, over winter, over death,
if only for an evening’s few hours. The

moon etches the roof’s crossbeam
on the grass – that much is dark. The
shadow of the old spruce leans a stark

impossible angle toward the road. What
thrills me is how absolute the shadows
are, how distinct each branch, each line

of the barren trees. And the color
wavers between a ghostly green and
a reassuring blue, all moon-lit but

definite. This, I realize, is the time for
rituals and celebrations in the open
marches of the woods, when the moon

pulls not only on the oceans, but on
our pulsing blood, calling us to
illuminate the darkness in our soul.

Our Bridge Is Down


I can see it from here and they say
we cannot cross over it until spring
when the red oaks and our aging
maple will make it invisible again.

Yesterday four does circled the house
and left a pattern of purposeful tracks
in the snow, leaping our fence and over
the road, on their way to the water.

Our bridge is no inconvenience for them,
the way it restricts us from heading east
and up Breakneck Hill Road. We counted
on it to link us to our friends and our future.

It was always too narrow. We sometimes
cursed the rails scouring the passenger
side of our car. But we also marveled
at the optimism of fishermen leaning

over its south side, where the deeper water
sometimes encouraged brook trout to bite.
There may have been a season to fish the stream,
but we never kept track. And we never saw fish.

In the February sunshine my walk takes me
to its edge. Earth mover and crane arch nearby
and I meditate on bridges, the ones that brought
my father home, the empty one we crossed

one blizzarding Christmas Eve going to Brooklyn.
Such thoughts bring me back to childhood,
itself a bridge one crosses only once,
and, like ours, it heads only westward.



Crowded near our neighbors,
with whom we rarely spoke,
on a street across from grander homes,
our house fronted a narrow world.

Choked with old autos, the road
was built for horse and carriage
with no driveways, no way out,
and for most of us, no place to go.

At sunset the lamplighter’s match
made antique gaslights glimmer.
Once we heard an hysterical woman
crying to no one in the half-dark.
Pride kept us firm behind the blinds,
suspicion sharpened the shadows
of people moving through the evening
mist, and fear locked us in at night.

American Romance


The hero in a perfect grey uniform
confronted Grant, clothes spotted
with the clay of Gettysburg.
Lee sat high on his horse. Grant
chewed on a cheroot in deshabille.
Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind
made citizens long for the romantic South.
People applauded when statues loomed
in imitation of victory and success.
Lee on horseback, Jefferson Davis in the
capitol, anonymous rebels in small towns
like Granbury, Texas. They came down
with cries of cancelling history.

But where were the statues of Benedict
Arnold and Major Andre?
They were history too.

And to honor history we need
statues of the Pequot and Lenape.
We need statues of slave children
coming in from the fields
after the day’s toil.
General Lee was history
for four years. Slaves in Virginia

were history for four centuries.
Where are their statues?

Hopper’s Nighthawks


We like it because it demands
a story, has all the elements
of a mystery. It’s late at night
with a set of emotions built in:
disappointment, something we
know about in our bones;
apprehension in the sharp-
nosed man who looks ready
for another cup of coffee;
defeat, in the back of the
figure who is said to be
Hopper himself.
His wife modeled for the woman
who examines a matchbook or
a small folder of cash.
Is she paying the bill or thinking
about a career in art?
The late night diner is pure Noir.
We suspect that John Garfield and
Ann Sheridan just left. Or is it where
Burt Lancaster picked up a cup of
java before holing up, waiting
for the killers?

The empty road,
the stark colors, the triangulation of
yellow and green, red and brown,
all intensify the brilliance of
the finger-pointing yellow walls
and the sense that something
has happened.

Thinking About Love


It is one thing to examine the color of hawthorns
white or pink, aggressive or calm, as spring unfurls.

And it is a great comfort to sit by the ocean sands
startled by late afternoon reflections on the surge.

Such things are miracles of reality, like the hibiscus
that pushes itself up through the loam in April.

Those things are palpable and ripe for meditation
but where are desire and anticipation, love and hate?

At times I feel ravaged by desire, hounded by anticipation,
and mellowed by reflections on the hopefulness of love.

When I think of love it is not love, but those I have loved
that come to mind – that are thought of, remembered.

I can write about love, write about desire, and reflect
on what is written. Love itself resists my thoughts.

What is written is not love, but words, and I can think        
of words just as I can think of laurels in the forest.

I want to think about love but cannot hope to see it
in the world of color and substance surrounding me.

Yet its reality yields every day to a world of feeling.
Feeling, not thinking, is my means of apprehension.

Did I know this as a child? Love’s demands dominate
childhood, only to blossom much later, not as an idea

but as a touch – not as a thought, but as a feeling,
an apprehension surpassing thought.